Afghanistan

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  • Obama’s AfPak Review should emphasise on Peace Talks with the Taliban

    The US needs to take direct charge of the peace talks prong of strategy to meet the mid-2011 deadline of beginning its troops withdrawal as well as to enable NATO departure by 2014.

    November 23, 2010

    Ganesh asked: What would be the status of India in restructuring Afghanistan after departure of NATO?

    Vishal Chandra replies: The US and NATO are likely to remain engaged in Afghanistan for years to come. I do not foresee complete withdrawal of American forces anytime soon. Even if the Obama Administration sticks to the July 2011 time frame, the withdrawal of American troops will still be a long drawn affair. Similarly, most of the European countries may pull out bulk of their troops in the next 2-3 years, but that would be no affirmation of West ‘departing’ from the region. They are likely to maintain minimal number of troops inside Afghanistan in support of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the Afghan government. The pace of withdrawal will also depend on the ground situation in Afghanistan; threat perceptions among the Western countries; and the preparedness of the ANSF. Transfer of security responsibilities to the ANSF itself will take at least 4-5 years or even more. Both the US and NATO will have to fund and provide mentors and trainers for the ANSF for years to come.

    As for the Indian presence, much will depend on the security situation in Afghanistan, the strength of the Afghan government, and how Washington and Islamabad reconcile to each other’s interests. India is likely to continue with its reconstruction assistance to the Afghan people and government to the extent possible. As a neighbouring country, India is expected to take a long-term view of the Afghan situation. The current policy may not be sustainable if the West fails to manage and stabilize the Afghan situation. India response will thus depend on the situation as it evolves on either sides of the Durand Line. In all circumstances, Indian response and policy towards Afghanistan must factor in the views and perceptions of various sections of the Afghan people. India has to be patient and cautious in its response. Any misadventure will prove counter-productive and further work to the advantage of forces inimical to the Indian interests.

    A Passage Through India?

    Given the fragility of ISAF’s southern lines of communication passing through Pakistan, India could consider offering a passage through its territory as a meaningful alternative.

    October 21, 2010

    26/11 Redux in Europe: Strategic Imperatives

    The current terrorist threat has reemphasised the importance of Europe, considered to be increasingly irrelevant in global security and strategic calculus.

    October 21, 2010

    Afghanistan: India should keep a low profile for the present

    India must stay engaged, keep a low profile, earn the goodwill of the Afghan people through its multifaceted assistance programme, and stay away from any costly misadventure in the security sector.

    October 18, 2010

    For Bangladesh Improving Domestic Situation is as important as Fighting the Taliban

    Bangladesh is making an important effort domestically to weaken the affiliates of al-Qaeda and Taliban ideology, which is no less important than making contributions to ISAF.

    October 12, 2010

    Afghanistan: A Firewall is Better than Partition

    India has been fairly successful in firewalling the radical blowback emanating from Pakistan in the past and need not be overly worried about the impending US withdrawal.

    October 07, 2010

    Af-Pak and India's Options in Afghanistan

    By offering to augment its $1.3 billion assistance to Afghanistan, India has sent out a clear signal that it remains a player in the beleaguered nation's reconstruction process. India will not be deterred by the efforts of Pakistan and a section of the world community to isolate it. The offer was made during President Hamid Karzai's brief visit to New Delhi, on April 26–27, 2010. The timing was significant. Karzai was flying further east to Thimphu, Bhutan, to attend the 16th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The Indian prime minister, Dr.

    September 2010

    The Sochi Summit: Fresh Moves on The Grand Eurasian Chessboard

    At their second Summit in Sochi on August 18, 2010, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan agreed to reinforce their cooperation. The United States has supported the Russian initiative due to its own compulsions and the China factor. India needs to pursue a well considered “Eurasian Heartland” policy in the context of these developments.

    August 27, 2010

    Wikileaked Warlogs: Will whistle-blowing change Af-Pak reality?

    While the US may continue to keep its contacts with the Pakistani army and its political leadership and strengthen its presence in Pakistan, can it contain the tide of Islamic radicalism prospering within Pakistan?

    August 05, 2010

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